Texas Tech's Mark Adams steps down as men's basketball coach

Texas Tech coach Mark Adams has stepped down from his position, the school announced Wednesday night, days after he was suspended for using what the school called an "inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment."

Adams didn't coach the Red Raiders in their Big 12 tournament loss to West Virginia on Wednesday, with assistant coach Corey Williams handling interim head coach duties.

"My lifelong goal was to help and be a positive influence on my players, and to be a part of the Texas Tech men's basketball team," Adams said in a prepared statement. "However, both the University and I believe this incident has become a distraction for the Texas Tech men's basketball team and the University, which I care about so deeply."

According to the school, Adams was encouraging a player to be more receptive to coaching and "referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters." Adams apologized to the team immediately after the comment, the school said.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt was made aware of the incident. He issued Adams a written reprimand but then made the decision to suspend the coach to conduct a "more thorough inquiry of Adams' interactions with his players and staff."

Hocutt determined that Adams' comment was unintentional and an isolated incident following his inquiry.

Texas Tech's conference tournament loss dropped the Red Raiders to 16-16 on the season, 5-13 in conference play.

North Texas' Grant McCasland and Oral Roberts' Paul Mills, two former Scott Drew assistants, are expected to be top candidates to replace Adams, sources told ESPN.

Adams was already under pressure from influential people around the program because of Texas Tech's disappointing season, sources told ESPN. He signed a contract extension last spring that was set to run through the 2026-27 season and pay him $15.5 million over five years.

Adams, 66, graduated from Texas Tech in 1979 and had been a coach with the Red Raiders since 2016, first as an assistant under Chris Beard and the past two seasons as Beard's replacement. He also spent two seasons as the program's director of basketball operations under Tubby Smith from 2013 to 2015.

Adams had been a longtime college coach in Texas before joining the Texas Tech staff, making stops at five schools over 30 years.